I hadn’t been checking Grist in a while, so I missed these posts from Eban Goodstein that I thought were worth highlighting.
The first, Climate Realism: Too Late for What?, both articulates a fear and frustration I have always felt regarding climate change (the fact that if we don’t accomplish X, Y and Z within, say, the next ten years, we have forfeit a degree of climate security- permanently), and also establishes a new baseline scenario, a new quantifiable foundation for understanding the current situation. While I would hesitate to call the situation Goodstein outlines ‘comforting’, it is at least a framework that I can use to explain what the quantifiable goals of the climate movement are in the immediate term, and the new world of, frankly, more limited possibility we are entering.
I would’ve posted sooner but I’ve been pretty busy last few days, too busy for blogging even (you’re shocked, I know).
But I just had to post for this because there’s a big mobilization going on for a Senate climate bill, and we climate activists are trying to get the numbers as high as possible. Unlike with voting, this is not ironic/cynical: call early and often!
From March 2nd to 4th (that’s tomorrow!), pretty much all the big groups are getting their members to flood the lines of Senate offices. The messages vary in the particulars, but the central message is this- we demand a climate and energy bill, and we demand it this year. There have been less than enthusiastic signs from the leadership about this, and some are even going so far as to call the Senate bill dead. Eff that.
Here are a number of organization’s prompts to call, and I encourage you to do at least one. I tried today but the lines were busy, I’ll try the DC offices of Brown and Voinovich again tomorrow, but if DC doesn’t work, I’m doing the locals. Anyway: 1Sky, Sierra Club, Consequence, Blue Green Alliance (my link isn’t working for them, but thanks to my bud Lee who emailed me today! they’re mostly union, but if you’re organized call and tell them you’re union and what local), Repower America, and Green for All.
Here’s what I’m saying:
- I’m a registered voter in Ohio.
- I demand that the Senate pass a climate, clean energy, and jobs bill this year.
- I demand that the Clean Air Act be kept intact, and the EPA not lose its authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
- I demand that Senator Sherrod Brown’s IMPACT Act be included (provides a revolving-loan fund to help manufacturers re-tool and get more energy-efficient. It has the potential alone to create 54,000 jobs in Ohio)
- I demand that there be something in place to make sure we’re making green jobs here in America, and not shipping our energy manufacturing overseas.
- I demand that there be a strong cap on carbon pollution.
You’re damn right I demand things of my Senate (I think Brown will be okay with it though).
Take care all, happy democracy!
No commentary now, there’s a lot, but I’ll post more as they come in:
For the most up to date news, check out the 350 twitter feed.
Here’s Andy Revkin at New York Times, classic looking for a controversy- fair and balanced.
Keith Harrington over at Grist, from Chesapeake Climate Action Network, on how 350 heralds a new level of global event and organizing.
Huffington Post has pictures and a brief overview.
LATimes on West Coast actions
And of course, classic Northeast Ohio idealist (realist?) Dennis Kucinich will be sending a letter around the House to get signatories to tell President Obama to endorse a 350 target. Gotta love him.
Here are a bunch of 350 action shots from around the world. Most of these are from the day itself, some are a little older. Check out more, here.
Organizers estimate 15,000 schoolchildren in attendance in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia
Kids march in Almaty, Kazakhstan
The Maldives' prime minister holds a cabinet meeting underwater (where the Maldives will be if action is not taken), signs a declaration for 350 on October 17th
More below the jump:
In a semi-unfortunate turn of events, there will be no 350 action (a demonstration that in some way highlights the significance of the number 350, which is the parts per million level of CO2 in the atmosphere that is current scientific consensus of a safe level. Above 350 and you get positive feedback loops that increase the temperature and CO2 level in a vicious cycle, leading to difficult-to-impossible to control global warming. We’re at 389 or so now) in Oberlin. We were originally going to have one to coincide with Ohio Power Shift ’09, but the other Ohioans wanted to have their own 350 actions in their communities to show how widespread support is for robust climate action at Copenhagen (the big kahuna of international climate summits) in a couple months. But that means no 350 in Oberlin, and I’m gonna have to sit this one out.
In a ‘lighting a candle in the window’ kind of gesture, I’ll be updating periodically throughout the day with pictures of others’ actions (hopefully with choice stuff from Ohio), global warming factoids, and occasional all-caps screeds to elected officials, telling them to get off their patooties and do something (not just saying something).
For other accounts, check out 350.0rg, Grist, TreeHugger, ClimateProgress, OpenLeft, and none of the mainstream media, who probably don’t give a fuck what thousands of people in over 170 countries are demanding unless there’s a Mr. President title before their name (or they’re Bjorn Lomborg, why do people still fucking listen to him?) I’m challenging you, MSM, surprise me.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to Bill McKibben. He has been one of the longest-active crusaders on this issue and is primarily responsible for the burgeoning climate movement we’re seeing today. This looks like a titanic effort, and I really appreciate the work he and everyone else has done.
It’s been a while since I’ve used this blog to highlight opportunities for civic action because I’ve seen the role of this blog changing and haven’t been sure where it fit in. But I found three awesome ones almost all at once this week and thought it would be good to bring them up, both because they are three of the most important fights progressives are taking on these days and because they showcase a few different organizing strategies that I think are really interesting/inspiring.
I also included a matching success for each action opportunity to emphasize that this action does have ramifications. Especially with health care, the tenacity of the public option can only be explained by its dogged defense by progressives- especially the netroots and labor (which is also pushing great action on financial reform). So remember yall, while this shit can be really depressing (and I think you might not be paying enough attention if you’re not pissed off and discouraged at least some of the time), it’s also important to remember there’s a reason to keep fighting- because it fucking works:
- Continue reading
Filed under Announcements, Awesome Organizations and Programs, Call-Ins, Calling Out Corporate Bull, Climate Change, Climate Movement, Democracy, Economic Crisis, Events, Health, Labor Issues, Movements, Obie Action, Repairing Our Democracy, Solidarity
Even as the public option continues to get smacked around by Max “insurance industry pissant” Baucus (while lacking the brevity of “asshat,” I think it serves as a more nuanced critique which accurately reflects my concerns) and defended by Jay “largely decent human being” Rockefeller and Alan “holy shit thank you for saying that” Grayson; the Senate managed to begin dealing with another ludicrously complex, powerful, and unsustainable system: energy.
While it’s still too early for me to fully assess the Clean Energy Jobs and Power Act, there are some good signs, below the jump.
It looks like I really stepped in it this time.
I’d like to apologize for some of the more insensitive comments I made in the previous post. I should have known better than to make light (though I wasn’t trying to) of Representative Kaptur’s wariness towards California and Massachussetts written legislation. The people of the Midwest have been underserved by coastal dominance of the federal process, and it makes perfect sense that she would want to ensure Ohioan representation of interest. If I had been a better note-taker I would have been able to give some more direct coverage of her concerns, could have done them better justice. I will say that in listening to her it was clear that the defense of her constituents was a major, if not the top, priority. To her credit, she was able to maintain that protective stance while also listening to and honestly considering our arguments and encouragement, which many have labeled (I think mistakenly) as extremely dangerous to our job and economic prospects. It would have been easy to write us off and ignore us as uninformed and out of our element, but she remained strong to her position while staying respectful and open to our interests.
What’s good yall? I’ve really got to study for bio among other things, but I thought it would be valuable to share some of the most substantive citizen engagement I’ve taken part in so far: meeting with Representative Marcy Kaptur this Friday to talk (ostensibly) about global warming.
She was a bit late, so the 15 of us who came had to wait around for about 20 minutes. Some people had been brought by friends, others had heard that she would be here from the announcement made at TGIF, and I imagine some had just seen the posters or the email and came along to see what it was about. To keep ourselves occupied we talked a bit about the questions we would ask and I explained the basics of the ACES bill. I was surprised to see how many people hadn’t heard of the bill, though maybe I shouldn’t have been. I figured that if 110 or so students could make it to a weekend in Power Shift than a healthy number would be interested in the specific legislation that will determine our climate future, but it’s important to remember the wide range of reasons that people have for engaging in activism. They’re often different than my own, but it’s important to respect and acknowledge those different motivations while making sure that diverse groups can work together to achieve mutually valued goals.
Filed under Climate Movement, Democracy, Economic Crisis, Environmental Policy, Events, Global Warming and Poverty, Green Jobs, Green Recovery, Obie Action, Ohio, Policy-Maker Positions
What’s good yall? Just a quick bulletin. This has been, in my estimation, poorly advertised, but here’s the description I received in email about the event:
“Q&A WITH REPRESENTATIVE MARCY KAPTUR
Friday, April 17th, 5:00 PM in Wilder 101
Representative Kaptur will be talking about what she’s been doing to combat climate change, and students and community members will be given the opportunity to ask her questions or tell her why fighting global warming is important to them. This is an amazing opportunity to influence global warming legislation, since legislators are much more likely to act on issues when they know that their constituents are behind them. Coal companies in Ohio have already contacted Representative Kaptur, urging her to continue to rely on coal as Ohio’s main fuel source, so unless we show her that there are people in her district who want her to sponsor legislation to put more of an emphasis on alternative fuels, green jobs, and energy efficiency, she is far less likely to do anything. Please come and show Representative Kaptur that you would support her efforts to combat global warming in Congress! Also, as an added incentive, there will be FREE FOOD “
OPIRG will be there, but if you want to come as an independent and ask your own questions I thoroughly encourage it. It’s going to be hard with both that and Phyllis Young’s talk on the Oahe Dam and Oil Pipeline, but I think Kaptur on campus might be too good an opportunity to miss. Hope to see you there!